Hike & fly on the Mount Taranaki

New Zealand part II - Posted On

Nadège writes: 

It’s also named the New Zealander’s Mount Fujiyama and you can’t miss it on Google Earth at the Western side of the North Island: This is a perfect volcanic cone covered by a huge forest and with a glacier at the top crater.

Climbing to the summit is not easy at all. From half way a mix of sand and rolling stones makes the progression being quite hard. The last bit becomes real steep mountaineering in the end.

In the beginning, we start our journey up with the idea to sleep at the top, without a real hope for flying down. This mountain is not very common to fly and moreover a French guy had hurt himself at the bottom a month ago (he had a mini speed wing, and possibly some violent thermic). Clouds cover the whole top part of the volcano and the wind comes from the northwest, meaning wrong direction.

Arriving at the summit, and therefore the take off, the wind is surprisingly very weak, and set itself in the right direction, Northeast. The sunset colour is particularly relaxing. After a fussy weather analyse and reminding our Mt Fyffe adventure (see previous post) we decide together to take off right now at sunset. 

I go first. I’m quite scared, but I’d rather jump off that cliff than climbing back down this bloody crater.

YAOUHH!!! Olivier comes just next after me. And we fly together over the great green ocean of the forest under for nearly 20 minutes in the last and extremely beautiful reddish sunset light. The air is fortunately quieter than the beat of my heart. From over here, the landing spot looks like a postal stamp. But we manage to land on it like flowers falling down from nowhere among some car’s trampers. 

We explode with joy: « We did it!! »